Most expensive place claim is "absolute bulls..t": Agents

A GLOBAL survey has found Coffs Harbour is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy property.

That's despite a median house price of $345,000 and no shortage of "entry level" real estate.

Long established local real estate agent Barry Booth from First National described the finding as "absolute bulls...".

"Is Coffs Harbour real estate expensive? - no," Mr Booth said.

"Lots of properties here sell for below replacement cost and local housing represents great value for money.

"Of course you can't argue with simple statistics, but this finding is clearly skewed by the low incomes of the high number of retirees and welfare recipients who live here."

The ninth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey of 337 markets in seven countries used the "median multiple" methodology to arrive at its findings.

By dividing the median house price by the gross before-tax annual median household income it gave Coffs Harbour an index of 8.0. A rating of more than 5.1 is considered "severely unaffordable".

Australia as a nation scored 5.6 with Sydney the least affordable capital (8.3) followed by Melbourne (7.5) Adelaide (6.5) Perth (5.9) and Brisbane (5.8).

Port Macquarie was the least affordable regional centre (8.6).

A quick check of the latest census figures sheds light on how Coffs Harbour has ranked so poorly.

In 2011 the median household income in Coffs Harbour was $902 - that's 27% below the national figure.

The average local family income of $1097 was $380 behind the NSW average of $1477.

Christine Clarke from Raine and Horne also poured cold water on the report's findings. She said the key to improving our housing affordability index had more to do with growing incomes than cutting house prices.

"We need to grow our economic base and strengthen our tourism industry to create more and better paying jobs," Ms Clarke said.



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